Astronomy 23/223 Homework:

The Return to Mercury

A special section in the journal Science in July (2008) was devoted to papers covering the initial results of the 1st Mercury flyby by MESSENGER. These publications are given in the Publications link on the MESSENGER website.

For this week’s homework: I'd like you to use the information in the Science papers, along with any other resources you have at your disposal, to write a short paper (1-2 pages -- more than 2 pages will NOT be read) on one of the following topics. Be sure to include proper citations to information you take from each source. For example:

"According to Spudis (2001), the geological history of Mercury can be summarized in terms of..."

At the end of your paper I expect to see a summary of the papers you used. You can decide on how you want to format this; however, whatever you decide, please be consistent.

Your paper should be SINGLE SPACED with 1" margins on all sides and 12 pt. font. Please use at least TWO citations; one of them should be to a paper in the Science issue, and the other one should be from some other source (NOT THE WEB).


1. Write a brief summary of the geologic history of Mercury.

2. What is known about the history of volcanism on the surface of Mercury?

3. Discuss the state of our knowlegde of Mercury's atmosphere.

4. Summarize what is known about Mercury's magnetic field.

5. Describe the history of Caloris basin.





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Last updated on 29 September, 2008 .